Screen Shot 2016-09-06 at 10.02.39 AM

FOI Requests in 11 Countries: Implementation Is Key

With freedom of information statutes in over 100 countries today, the laws have become a key tool for journalists from India to Mexico. But their success depends on how they’re used and implemented, as Swiss scholar Vincent Mabillard explores in his recent paper, Freedom of Information Laws: Evolution of the Number of Requests in 11 Jurisdictions. We are pleased to present highlights from his paper from the University of Lausanne.

Maidan 2

What Makes Governments Resistant to Coups? Transparency.

The relationship between transparency and political stability in democracies is simple: More transparency means more stable democratic rule. As transparency rises, democratically elected leaders are less likely to be ousted through extra-constitutional methods like a coup. In non-democracies the situation is more complicated. But greater transparency still means fewer coups.

casa_publica-5_1

A Media Resource Center for the Rio Olympics

On Thursday, June 30, a group of journalists met at a house in Botafogo in the South Zone of Rio de Janeiro for a full day of training in the city’s access to information laws, followed by a debate on transparency in the context of the upcoming Olympics. “We wanted to do something before the Olympics on access to information, because so many people don’t know how the system works,” explained Mariana Simões, manager of Casa Pública.

Screen Shot 2016-04-13 at 10.47.46 AM

Against the Odds, Investigative Journalism Persists in Middle East

In the past year, a group of Arab journalists has been working secretly in Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Algeria, and Yemen as part of a global network of investigative reporters mining the so called “Panama Papers.” They found that some Arab strongmen and their business partners are linked to offshore companies and bank accounts. What’s astonishing about this story is not that Arab dictators are going offshore to hide their wealth and evade sanctions. It’s that a community of Arab journalists is continuing to do investigative reporting in a region where there is increasingly little tolerance for accountability of any kind.

Panama Papers 2

Are Panama Papers Really a Campaign Against Privacy?

We do agree with Ramon Fonseca about one thing: that “Each person has a right to privacy, whether they are a king or a beggar.” But that’s where our commonality with co-founder of disgraced Panama law firm Mossack Fonseca ends. This scandal isn’t about privacy. If anything, it’s about the need for transparency about how the powerful wield their power.

Anuska-Delic-Delo

Slovenia: How a Neo-Nazi Exposé Almost Landed a Journalist in Jail

It was February 2013 when the police knocked on the door of Anuska Delic’s mother. The two officers had arrived at the house in the Slovenian capital of Ljubljana at 8am to speak with her daughter concerning a criminal investigation. Delic, a journalist for the well-respected daily newspaper Delo, was being charged for revealing alleged connections between the ruling right-wing Slovenian Democratic Party (SDS) and the controversial neo-Nazi movement Blood and Honour.